Friday FAVES!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Hey, Hey, it's Friday!!!!!  I'm so excited because we've got a three day weekend ahead since Monday is a weather day for my school system!!  Woohoo!!

I've got a few FAVES to share with y'all today!!

 Last weekend Dustin was off work, so we left Saturday morning for a day trip to Nashville since we don't live too far away.  We had the best time and found a new FAVORITE restaurant--Edley's BBQ in the 12th South neighborhood.  Dustin's even talking about the next time we go back haha!

 I tried my hand at making an acai bowl, but mine didn't turn out thick enough.  I didn't like it, but Dustin did!  I took a few bites/sips since it was liquidy, and he ate the rest and loved it!  I've got to give it another try and use a frozen banana instead of a regular one.  I think that will help.

 This picture popped up on my Facebook memories from Monday and it has me wishing we had snow like this again!!  This was the year both my sister and I got married, so it was a fun last good snow living at home.  We put on our warmest clothes and played outside all morning with our mom.

 Wednesday was our first sunny day in a while, so I went over to my dad's after school to run in his neighborhood.  He ended up riding his bike while I ran and that was so nice!  Afterward, Dustin wanted to go try out the new burger place in town, so we went early since I knew they would be packed.  It was a fun, impromptu date night!

 All I wanted for Valentine's Day was for Dustin to cook dinner so we didn't have to go out to eat.  I requested the exact same meal he made last year, so he did just that!  He plated the meal so well, that I had to take a picture!  And now I've got half of a filet mignon to eat today at school for lunch!

For dessert, he made chocolate covered strawberries!  I ate about 5-6 haha!!  (You can see in the top where he tried to drizzle white chocolate over it, but he burned it in the microwave)

I don't think I've ever shared about my FAVORITE sheets here on the blog, but my FAVE sheets are made locally--which makes it even better!!  Last February, Dustin surprised me with this sheet set since I had been talking about wanting some.  The only thing keeping me from getting a set was the price--they were more than I really wanted to spend on sheets.  But after getting a pair, I have realized how they are worth every single penny!  The cotton is grown locally by a family we personally know, and then they've matched the creation of the sheets to heirloom sheets they own from generations past--because we all know that things made a long time ago are better quality.  These sheets get better with each wash, and we will probably never sleep on anything but these sheets!  Go read the reviews on these sheets--they are amazing.  And then order yourself a set and tell me how you love them!
**We have the Bankhead Basics fitted and flat sheet.
**We have the Heirloom Classic pillowcases.

I wrote Wednesday about my all time FAVORITE reads, so you need to check it out if you are a big reader!

I am LOVING this song!

I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend--I know I will!

Favorite Reads of All Time!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Today's prompt with Shay is PERFECT for me because I absolutely LOVE reading!  I had a really hard time narrowing down my list of "favorite" reads, so this isn't a complete list.  Just because I'm an English major doesn't mean I only enjoy reading the classics.  While I do enjoy reading those, I also enjoy reading books that don't make me think at all and are purely predictable (like Mary Kay Andrews).

Ever since I can remember, I have always loved reading.  And I'm a fast reader, so I can knock a book out in no time and then move on to the next one.  I can't wait to see what everyone else lists, so maybe I can add some books to my list!

**You'll notice I have lots of southern authors on this list, and it's not that I think southern authors are the best.....but they are ha!  There's just something about a southern author and how they embody the beliefs and hospitality of the South.  Yes, I know that the South has some bad history--but we also have a lot of good people here who would give you the shirt off their back if you need it without even knowing who you are.

**I also have a few books that are also found on the National Banned Books list.  I think it's important to read "controversial" content.  I have controversial in quotes because some of it isn't controversial at all 😜

TKM is my FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME!  It's required reading for my school system (and many in AL) for high school freshman, but I actually read this on my own in the 8th grade.  I fell in love with Atticus, Scout, and Boo Radley!  I love that it was written and is set in my home state, and the theme of empathy is one that will forever stand out to me.  If you haven't read this book, you must.  But don't read Go Set a Watchman (her prequel).  I did not enjoy it at all, but that's s story for another day :)

Okay, I know I have raved and raved about this book lately, and it really is going to be one of my favorite reads of all time.  The author did a wonderful job of describing the setting and making the marshland and swamp such beautiful areas.  And she did an excellent job making Kya such a lovable character--one that I connected emotionally with immediately.  I actually clutched my chest at one point while I was reading because my heart hurt so much for Kya.  This is a book I will be reading again soon!

I remember picking this book up from our local library and loving it because it made me think.  The main character is an African American girl and she begins to think that she would be considered pretty if she had blue eyes like one of the white girls at her school.  This book really made me think about society's beauty standards and what we're telling our little girls by the kinds of marketing they see.  If you haven't read this, I highly recommend it.  It's not a long book at all, but it does have some mature content.  

"My mother is a fish" is a line that has stayed with me for over ten years--that means a book is good!  This book was required reading for me in 11th grade English and I have never forgotten it.  I actually re-read it in college, too, because I loved it that much.  As Faulkner's style is, this book is told in a stream of consciousness and you get multiple points of view as these characters are traveling to bury their mother in her hometown in Mississippi.

I could never leave off HP!  I actually would never have read HP if my 6th grade English teacher didn't set aside a few minutes a day to read us the first novel.  This was before HP became insanely popular and no one had heard of it.  After we read that first novel, my mom got me the 2nd and 3rd books for Christmas in 7th grade because they were already published.  Then after that, I used to wait in line at Books a Million at midnight waiting on the release of each book.  The last one came out my senior year, and I remember looking around at the ages of the people waiting in line and lots of them were my age--we grew up with Harry.  I've actually gone back and reread these as adults, and JK Rowling is a gifted writer who has the gift of making you think without realizing you are!

I named this my favorite book of 2017 when I read it in February of that year.  I loved it that much.  I picked this book up randomly at my local library and read it within a day or two.  This book is told from different points of view of different types of characters during the time of TUR.  Most books during this time only cover points of view of slaves, but this one gives you the point of view of a slave catcher and a "conductor" on the railroad.  READ IT!!

What are some of your favorite reads of all time?

Meghan Markle Maternity Syle That I'm Loving

Monday, February 11, 2019

It's no secret that I love Meghan Markle.  

She's living out (almost) every American girl's dream....marrying a prince.  She's got access to loads of good fashion, and aside from the pressure from the press, I'd like to think she lives a good life.  She's been given a major platform to do good in the world, and she's married to the love of her life :)

Her maternity fashion choices have been very interesting.  I honestly thought she'd dress a little different, but I'm not hating it!  There are some outfits I like more than others, so today I thought I'd share some of the ones I've been liking!

 I think this dress is Oscar de la Renta.  I didn't like it at first, but it eventually grew on me and I really like the pop of color the shoes gave it (see below).  I probably wouldn't have paired tall boots with a longer dress, but she did and it looks good on her!

 This shows her boots better!  The olive color looks really good with the dress above.

 I once saw an interview with Meghan for Good Housekeeping and she mentioned she really enjoys a good monochromatic look.  Keep that in mind because she chooses to wear monochromatic a lot.  I like the all black look on her.  The skirt has pleats!

 I love the neckline on this evening gown and the fact that it's a darker color.  

 This one surprised me when I first saw it pop up on social media because she's not one to wear bold colors.  But as the day went on, the news began reporting how she may have dressed in purple and red to match the logo of the organization they were visiting, and an old picture of Diana dressed in purple and red popped up and I thought that was sweet.

 Meghan loves a good blush look and I love it on her!  Her make up looks really good right here, too.  Do you like the blazer with this?  Oh, and Saturday Dustin and I were in Nordstrom and I came across the Aquazzura shoe display and I saw these exact shoes-of course I had to check the price and tell Dustin how Meghan Markle wears this brand ha!  And these are very, very similar to the ones she wore most recently except hers had a higher heel (and in a maternity look that I did not like).

 Another semi-monochromatic look and this one features a dress from H&M maternity.  She hasn't worn hardly any real maternity pieces, so I was surprised to see her wear this one.  I like that Kate pairs high end pieces with low end, and I hope that Meghan will do that, too!

I LOVED this look!  Meghan went back to the Grenfell(?) Tower where she helped to create the cookbook and wore this look.  I'm pretty sure this look was from November, too.

Which of these is your favorite maternity look for Meghan?

Friday FAVES!!

Friday, February 8, 2019

Happy Friday!!!  I'm SO glad it's Friday because this has been a rough week, so bring on the weekend!  Dustin and I have something fun planned for tomorrow, and I can't wait!

Today I'm sharing a bunch of my FAVORITES with y'all!

 I have really been liking my make up routine lately and all of the products I've been using.  This photo was taken after my make up had been on for about 10 hours, and it's not looking bad!  I'll be doing a post soon about all of my current make up products!

 The only make up product that I use that isn't my favorite is my mascara.  I just can't bring myself to spend more than $8 on mascara, so I end up with clumpy lashes at the end of the day because of that.  If anyone would be willing to gift me high end mascara so I can experience that, I'd love you forever 😂😂

 I LOVE roasted brussels sprouts, so I made them for dinner earlier this week.  This was before I stuck them in the oven.  After I roast them, I like to mix together balsamic vinegar and a little local honey and coat the brussels in that as soon as I take them out of the oven.  It's life-changing!

 Dustin had to go to his diabetic doctor last week and he surprised me by stopping by Trader Joes on the way home!  He got me some Everything But the Bagel seasoning since it's so popular......and it's a FAVORITE!!!  I sprinkled it on both my avocado and my egg.  And notice how I eat breakfast at school ha!

 I know I wrote about these tights earlier this week, but I really love them.  They are thicker (so quality construction) but they also are vented...

 They are perfect for spring!!  I know it's still early February, but we've had temps this week in the 70s and it's made dressing very difficult--which make these tights perfect right now.  **Look at how long my hair has gotten!  After having the hardest time growing my hair out (I firmly think fertility meds didn't help), my hair has just exploded and has grown so much!

 The weather this week has been a FAVORITE because it has allowed me to get outside and exercise!  Yesterday, I went to the park and speed walked 2 miles and it was perfect!!  And now today, the high is 43 degrees...yuck!  I also with I had air pods 😊

Last night I had popcorn for supper and it was the best!  I have an air popper, and I just throw some spray butter and popcorn seasoning on it.  I could eat this popcorn all the time!

My girl, Meg, has had a lot of engagements so far this year--which means lots of maternity style.  This was one of my FAVORITE looks from her lately.  First, I'm a HUGE fan of monochromatic.  Second, this dress is from H&M so I love the high-low pair with the labels.  She's obviously my FAVORITE!

And I'll leave y'all with one of my FAVORITE John Mayer songs :)


Relationships Survey from The Blended Blog!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Hey y'all!!  How many of y'all stayed up watching the State of the Union address last night?  I believe that no matter what political party you align with, it's important to watch the SOTU address.  It lasted much longer than I expected it to, so by the time Dustin and I went to bed, I think I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow haha!  So I'm writing today's post early in the morning!

1. Who is your oldest friend/how did you meet?
I have friends that are still in my life from day care and elementary school!!  I think that's the best thing about living in a small town.  But my very best friend has been in my life since early high school when we met after my mom and sister and I changed to the church she went to and we met in youth group.  Dustin and I were just in Auburn spending the weekend with her and her husband!

2. Tell us about your circle of support.  Who are your people?
Oh man, I have an awesome support circle.  Not only do I have great family and a great small group at church, but my coworkers are awesome.  When I was going through IVF, my coworkers would pray with and for me at school or bring me small gifts or send me random texts letting me know they are thinking of me.  When I miscarried back in May, my coworkers were the first to show up and take care of me/us.  They brought food, called, dropped off chocolates, and made sure I didn't have to cook supper for days.  I could never leave the school I teach at because my coworkers are so great!

3. How did you meet your partner?
We were set up on a blind date by....a coworker haha!!  My coworkers are really integral to my life haha!  Dustin was a senior in high school when I was a freshman so I didn't really know him because we didn't have the same circle of friends--although we should have been in some of the same places because some of our friends were siblings.

4. How is Valentine's Day celebrated in your home?
Usually we go out to eat but last year I had surgery a few days before Valentine's Day, so Dustin made the most wonderful filet mignon with a wine reduction sauce.  I've requested that same meal again this year!

5. What is your love language?
Honestly, I've never read the book.  

6. Do you prefer receiving flowers or chocolates?
I would prefer receiving flowers any day but Valentine's Day since the prices are jacked up on flowers on that day.  Dustin, feel free to send me a spring arrangement once it warms up outside!

7. What is the most meaningful gift you have ever received or given?
I can't think of anything in particular??  Cliche, but the way Dustin proposed was very special and I do cherish my engagement ring.  This year for Christmas he surprised me with my Nespresso machine and that wasn't evens something I had asked for!  I had just been randomly talking about wanting one for months, so that showed me he had been listening and paying attention to me.  Oh, and this Christmas he got me the most beautiful necklace as a gift.  If you know me, you know that I'm not the biggest jewelry fan and any jewelry that I wear (except my engagement ring) isn't going to be big or flashy--as in, I wear pearl studs every day and that's about it.  He picked out a very simple rose gold necklace with a small strand of diamonds and it was perfect for my jewelry style!  This showed me that he knows me!

How would you answer some of these questions?

Friday/Monday FAVORITES!

Monday, February 4, 2019

Happy Monday!!!

I hope everyone had a warm weekend because I sure did!  The weather here was spectacular (think high 60s and sunny) so I'm going to be so sad when it gets cold and gloomy again.  Hurry, spring!

Since I enjoyed my Thursday night by hanging out with friends and finishing The Great Alone, I didn't get my Friday Faves post up.  So here we are on a Monday with a post reserved for Fridays....maybe this will make the weekend get here faster?!

 Saturday morning I went for a 2 mile run in a tank top (!!!) and my new running tights.  I'm still working to build up my running back to what it used to be when I used to "go out and run a quick and easy 3 mile run" 😔  It's been harder than I expected because 1. I'm very competitive with myself and am always wanting to improve on my pace which is hard when you're trying to get back in the game and 2. our neighborhood has some really terrible hills which make me tired.
**Also notice Dustin's clothes in the background on his dresser.....UGHHHH

I took pictures of two books that I want to eventually buy and read...
 I loved Their Eyes Were Watching God, so I assume I'll like almost anything Zora Neale Hurston writes.  This book looks super interesting because the man pictured (can't remember his name) lived in Alabama and tells Hurston his story.  Oh, and now that I'm typing this, I think his name is Barracoon ha!

This was in the school reading list section and one I haven't read yet.  I always find these sections so interesting.  

Random, but this title makes me think of As I Lay Dying which is maybe my favorite Faulkner novel.  If you haven't read it, you should!

Y'all know how much I love Meghan Markle.  It's borderline embarrassing 😂  I came across this short video clip and thought it was so cute!

Have a great Monday!!

What's Up Wednesday

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Happy Wednesday, y'all!

Yesterday we had a "snow" day except that the snow never showed up--which is fine because I enjoyed an off day that we don't have to make up!  I haven't done a WUW post in a while, so I'm excited to be doing one today.

What we're eating this week...
Monday night I had book club so I ate at a restaurant with my book club and Dustin ate at the basketball game he went to.
Tuesday = chili
Wednesday = Shay's fiesta chicken but in tacos
Thursday = Dustin smokes a chicken
Friday = ??

What I'm reminiscing about...
Nothing at the moment!

What I'm loving...
-I took a break from drinking La Croix after reading all these articles about a lawsuit against them, but nothing came of that (trust me, I researched) so I'm loving having a daily La Croix!
-I asked for this retinol cream for Christmas and I was using it every other day to get my skin used to it, but now I'm to every night usage and I feel like my sun spots are gradually fading!
-I'm also loving that January is almost over haha!

-I've been following Krista's blog and vlogs for a while.  She recently lost her job working for MLB so she's been doing daily vlogs while she hunts for a new job.  I LOVE these because she lives in NYC and I find life there so fascinating.  I highly recommend y'all going to her channel and watching some of them!

What we've been up to...
Nothing super exciting.  I don't think January is the most exciting month of the year.

What I'm dreading...
Bus duty each day ha!  I only have maybe a week and a half left--thank goodness!

What I'm working on...
Working out a certain amount of days each week and eating healthy.  That will forever be a lifelong struggle for me--not just a January resolution.

What I'm excited about...

If you're new to my blog, my husband and I are in the process of adopting a baby and February is the month!!!  You can read a lot of my posts on adoption here and my posts on infertility here.

What I'm watching/reading...
I may be the last person on earth to start watching this show, but I just started watching The Great British Baking Show on Netflix and I am LOVING it!  I don't know why it took me so long to watch it because I love all things British, but this show is great and I love watching how the contestants on this show react vs how Americans react on cooking competitions.  And I want to try these British treats!

I'm also watching Million Dollar Listing LA, This Is Us, New Amsterdam, Hallmark movies, and I'm waiting on Real Housewives of BH to come back on!

I'm currently reading The Great Alone!

What I'm listening to...
Leon Bridges's latest album since Dustin and I are going to see him in late April.

What I'm wearing...
I've been terrible about outfit pictures so I vow to be better about it in February!
 A sweatshirt from college and my favorite cold weather running tights from Lululemon

 A coat from Old Navy (sold out) and my fave spanx leggings

 Lilly sweater (I linked the spring version) and spanx leggings

Southern sweatshirt and jeans (order 1 size down)

What I'm doing this weekend...
Packing the baby's suitcase and trying to gather some of our things together so we can be on stand by

What I'm looking forward to next month...

What else is new...

Bonus:  Favorite Valentine's Day tradition?
Dustin and I don't really have a Valentine's Day tradition other than either eating out somewhere nice or cooking a nice dinner at home.  Last year, I was recovering from surgery so he made the most wonderful filet mignon ever with a wine reduction sauce, so I've requested that again this year.  We're actually going to go out the weekend before as our "last meal out before baby"--it's the closest we can get as adoptive parents haha. 

Weekend Review

Monday, January 28, 2019

Happy Monday, y'all!!!  Today's weekend review will be short and sweet because I didn't think one bit about taking pictures to document--sometimes you just want to live in the moment and not constantly take pictures, right?!

I am definitely not a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl--more like a jeans and cute top kind of girl for our casual Fridays at school.  However, it was cold on Friday, so I decided to wear a t-shirt, sweatshirt, and my Ugg slippers to school!  My feet were so warm haha!

I'm teaching a new novel so Friday I read aloud one chapter before giving students group work to do.

After school, I came home and then went to the county championship basketball games with Dustin and my dad that night.

Dustin and I slept in (trying to get as much sleep as we can haha!), so after I made blueberry muffins, we got ready to go find me new luggage.  It's so crazy but I had the hardest time finding luggage because I honestly just didn't want to be buying any luggage to begin with.  I ended up getting a set from TJ Maxx.

Dustin and I did a few things around the house before he headed back up to the basketball championship, and my sister and I went to Target to open our baby registry.  Registering was harder than I thought because I have a lot of stuff that I've had to buy already.  That's the thing about adoption--unless you want to have a shower beforehand, your shower comes after the baby is already born and you've already had to buy a lot of things yourself.

After registering, I was excited to get home and shower and watch a movie while laying in bed--the dream! ha!  I ended up watching Hostiles, and when Dustin got home that night, he watched the ending with me.

Dustin and I had church Sunday morning and then lunch at home.  I worked on this week's meal plan and grocery list while he tinkered out in the garage and sprayed weeds.  After a crazy trip to Walmart (we're expected to get some snow/ice Tuesday so everyone was at Walmart), I came home to sterilize the last bit of bottles and pacis.  Yesterday was also my stepdad's birthday, so that night we went up to my mom and stepdad's house for dinner and cake!

Lots of Rambling in Today's Coffee Talk

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Happy Wednesday, y'all!  I don't have a great blog post planned for today because I've been sucked into watching Schitt's Creek on Netflix 🙈  If you haven't seen it, it's hilarious and addicting....and wasting so much of my life ha!

So today I'm going to do a brain dump because right now, I have about 5 million things on my mind currently!
-Sunday was FREEZING and I realized that I don't have any warm nice clothes for church.  I wore the chunkiest scarf I own so that meant I had to wear my hair straight for church.  But because it really hasn't been super cold here for an extended amount of time, I'll just keep putting off buying warm clothes ha!

-Dustin got me this Nespresso for Christmas, so I've worked really hard perfecting my lattes so they taste somewhat similar to Starbucks's.  I'm getting closer 😂

-Speaking of coffee, I'm about to start having to drink a cup in the afternoon/evening!  I get so sleepy starting around 7:30-8pm and night and that cannot happen for me--especially when baby gets here and I know I will be surviving on little sleep.

-I really need new luggage.  My luggage set was from graduation and it's hot pink with white polka dots....definitely screams 18 year old haha!  The handle on my large suitcase is broken and the toiletries bag is broken.  Dustin and I found some at TJ Maxx on Monday but I just told him to wait.  Anyone else like that?  You need something but when it comes down to it, you just can't bite the bullet?!  We need to go back this weekend because I can't put it off much longer!

-I know I've said this 500 million times, but if you haven't read Where the Crawdads Sing, YOU HAVE TO RIGHT NOW!!!  I'm going to be rereading it soon because I loved it that much.

-I've seen lots of talk on the internet about packing cubes.  Are they worth it?  We'll be packing for a long stay, so if they make a huge difference then I'll buy them.  Do they?

-I wrote on IG not too long ago about being so unmotivated lately to workout and that I wanted to find that motivation.  Well, I knew the answer was myself and my own self-discipline.  So I've been much better about saying I'm going to run on a certain day and then actually going and doing it.  I used to be so self-disciplined in my eating and exercising, and I'm working to get back to that person--slowly, but surely!

Okay, that's enough of my rambling for today!  See y'all Friday!

Day in the Life (1.17.19)

Monday, January 21, 2019

Happy (cold) Monday!  It's a crisp 22 degrees Monday morning as I write this blog post, and I'm watching The Today Show show clips of people in the north east shoveling snow and ice!  So crazy!!

I woke up last Thursday morning and decided I would do a day in the life post, so that's why I started a little late in my picture taking.
 It'd be nice if this were the actual time I woke up, but my alarm went off at 5 and I got out of bed at 5:15.

 This is what I was doing between those times--watching the local news and reading blogs.

 My royals podcast comes out on Thursdays, so I always listen to it while I get ready.  The hosts are hilarious!

 I was doing a special activity with my students that day, so I needed to wear something comfortable/could spill food on.  I definitely don't dress like this on a normal work day!  I also wore my hair straight for something special after school--which you'll see later!

 Two things about this photo:
1. We are getting all new windows in our school building (it's very old), so this is currently what my view looks like.  The two end pieces will be windows that open, and apparently the window people won't be putting those in until March...or so they say 😜
2. We're getting ready to read The Devil's Arithmetic and it begins with a Seder Meal, so we had one in our class to prepare for the novel!  My students know nothing about the Jewish religion or even what a Seder is, so we had our own mini ceremony, and I did that all day Wednesday and Thursday.

 I have bus duty in the afternoons in the girls' gym.

 I had a massage after school!!!!  This is the after picture haha!  Dustin got me a gift certificate for my birthday late October, and I was saving it for Christmas break.  Well, I never made an appointment and then I started thinking that I probably needed to save it to closer when the baby is due because I probably would be a little stressed.  Well, after I realized I would be spending two entire days doing a Seder meal with my students, I booked my hot stones massage after the second day because I knew I would need to relax, and it was MUCH NEEDED!  If anyone wants to treat a new mom to a massage, you can buy me this 😂😂

 I told Dustin he was cooking that night so when I got home, he was prepping to grill turkey burgers.  While he did that, I took a shower to get all the oil off my body.  I should have washed my hair then, but I didn't and you'll see why I regretted that haha

 I read a few more blogs while catching up on New Amsterdam while Dustin was cooking.

 Dustin wanted me to snap a picture of his plate.  Those are cauliflower tots we ate!!

Then I read a little more in my book, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owns.  I'm going to talk about it forever, but it was amazing and y'all all need to read it!

This is what time I thought I was getting in bed.  But after I laid there for about 15 minutes, I realized I needed to wash my hair.  So I did ha!  I didn't get in bed until after 10:30 that night.
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